The 2013 edition of the annual festival for pastoralists from Niger and neighboring countries commonly referred to as "the Salty Diet" is held in the northern region of Ingall.
The festival was officially opened on Sunday by Prime Minister Brigi Rafini in the presence of several senior government officials.
The Salty Diet festival is held at the end of the rainy season, during which the Peuls and Tuareg pastoralists bring their animals to graze in Ingall, which is renown for its pastures that are rich in mineral salts.
It is also an opportunity for the different pastoralist communities, after about a year of separation, to revive their friendly relations and exchange information.
They use the ceremony to celebrate marriages and participate in the official salty diet festivities.
During the three-day event, there will be camel derbies, military parades, animal exhibitions, beauty contests, competitions for the best dressed animals, as well as competition for the most beautiful camel.
To ensure better organization of the 2013 edition and restore the glory of the Salty Diet festival, the Nigerien government gave the organizers a total of 70 million CFA Franc (about 142,600 million U.S. dollars).
Besides the construction of a "VIP" village where the government officials and other dignitaries would stay during the festival, the organizers also repaired the local stadium with a sitting capacity of 800 and put up a vaccination park for the animals participating in the event.